Local News

Police: Garner man killed wife, himself

Posted February 26, 2010 10:34 a.m. EST
Updated July 1, 2014 5:13 p.m. EDT

— Police on Friday identified the man and woman found dead Thursday inside a Garner home in what investigators say was a murder-suicide.

The bodies of Daniel Jonathan Powell, 52, and his wife, Doreen Kay Powell, 46, were found in their home on Whithorne Drive shortly before noon Thursday.

A man called 911 at about 10:30 a.m. and told the dispatcher he had killed someone. Communications staff were able to link the call to the Powells' home, police said.

The man was very calm during the 90-second call, a recording of which Garner police released Friday.

"Well, I just want to confess to a murder," he tells the dispatcher.

"When did this occur?" the dispatcher asked.

"It occurred probably about five minutes ago," he said before the call was disconnected.

When officers arrived at the house, no one answered, so they entered and found the Powells' bodies in an upstairs bedroom, police said. No one else was in the home.

Sgt. Chris Clayton of the Garner Police Department said Doreen Powell had "visible injuries consistent with both a knife and a handgun," while Daniel Powell apparently died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Still, both bodies have been sent to the State Medical Examiner's Office in Chapel Hill for autopsies to determine a cause of death.

According to a search warrant, police seized a handgun, ammunition, a diary, two written notes and other items from the home Thursday.

"That's just a shock. He was very friendly. I've never really had contact with her at all," neighbor Rob Whittington said.

Neighbors said that the Powells both worked for the U.S. Postal Service and that Doreen Powell used to be in the National Guard. The couple have several grandchildren who played with other children in the neighborhood, according to neighbors.

Carl Walton of the Postal Service said Daniel Powell had been a letter carrier since 1995 and Doreen Powell had been a letter carrier since 1999.

Maj. Matthew Handley, spokesman for the North Carolina National Guard, said Doreen Powell served more than 20 years in the Army, including 15 with the Butner-based 217th Personal Services Battalion of the National Guard. She served in Iraq in 2004-05 and retired from the service in 2007.

"I would have never ever thought anything from over there. They were just model citizens," neighbor David Lowe said.

Police had been called to the home four times in the past, Clayton said, but none were domestic violence-related calls. The most recent call was an animal complaint in 2003.

Daniel Powell had no prior criminal record, Clayton said.